Know your product!

This past week, I was in Denver for the National Animal Science Meetings (not the National Junior Angus Show).  I was presenting a poster on one of my animal behavior and well-being projects about swine restraint and blood sampling.  While National Meetings was very exciting and filled with opportunities: networking with industry leaders, talking to professors in my area from other schools and having Temple Grandin tell me how much she liked my poster (sorry, I had to throw that in there!), there was also a lot of time for fun and exploration of Denver.

We (Rebecca Tokach, Mandy Myers and I) had a blast exploring the shops, restaurants and piano bars of downtown Denver.  We even made an appearance at Coyote Ugly – they likely won’t forget us soon.

But this post isn’t about shopping or piano bars or the Bare Minerals makeover I got, it’s about knowing the product you’re sellling.  On Tuesday night, Becca and I had the pleasure of having dinner with Don Boggs – Associate Dean of the KSU College of Ag.  We all go waaaay back. Anyways, we were eating at Big Game – a restaurant with great food, lots of big screen tv’s and wild game on the walls and menu.  It’s a trifecta.  Unfortunately, their service isn’t up to speed with the menu.  We asked our server what a hangar steak (placement pictured above) was, expecting him to tell us the correct answer in order to sell us a $30 steak.  He informed us that he wasn’t sure but he thought it came from the outside muscle of the backleg. Seriously?  The hangar steak hangs between the rib and the loin (hence the name).  I don’t want to pay $30 for a steak that comes from the semimembranosus (outside of backleg) – roasts are what come out of that part (except for round steak, which isn’t the most tender cut).  What he should have said is “I’m not familiar with that cut, let me go check and get back to you.”  He did come back and tell us where it was from but he made himself look stupid and we didn’t buy the steak.  We ended up getting the NY Strip – a great alternative.  Aside from the ineptitude of the server, the meal was actually awesome.  I would recommend Big Game to any Denver traveler.

Servers need to know their products — it upsets customers when you don’t know what’s on your menu.  Not knowing the cuts of meat on your menu could cause people to avoid your restaurant, turn vegan or jip you on the tip.  Restaurant owners: please start making menu training mandatory for all servers.

Until next time,


One response to “Know your product!”

  1. Has this ever happened to you?